daily wine picks


$15 to $30

Nov. 29, 2000: LE VIEUX DONJON Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1998 (97 points, $25)

An explosive and racy Châteauneuf, bursting with roasted game, wild berry, grilled bread, black chocolate and espresso character. Ripe and sweet-tasting, with the opulent fruit to balance the firm tannin structure that rises like an impenetrable wall on —Per-Henrik Mansson

Nov. 27, 2000: TALTARNI Shiraz Pyrenees-Victoria (90 points, $16)

Here's an appealing Australian Shiraz, distinctive for the exotic bay leaf and eucalyptus overtones that add dimension to the varietal black cherry and black pepper flavors. Smooth through the finish. Drink now through 2010. Well-priced and amply made. 70 —Harvey Steiman

Nov. 15, 2000: PAUL COULON & FILS Châteauneuf-du-Pape White Domaine de Beaurenard (95 points, $30)

When you think of Châteauneuf, you first think of red wine, but this white Châteauneuf is rich and thick, yet very elegant, showing superaromatic expressions of fruit, mineral and toasted oak. So ripe yet so clean, this has a long, seductive and hedonis —Per-Henrik Mansson

Nov. 14, 2000: CHARLES ELLNER Brut Champagne Carte d\'Or NV (90 points, $30)

Here's an outstanding Champagne at a reasonable price. Exhibiting loads of personality, this Champagne keeps building on the palate, with its concentrated brioche, honey and walnut flavors allied to a bright, medium-bodied frame. Great finish, with a ling —Bruce Sanderson

Nov. 04, 2000: KENDALL-JACKSON Cabernet Sauvignon California Grand Reserve 1990 (91 points, $30)

Firm and deeply concentrated, with a solid tannic punch to the blackberry, currant, coffee and plum flavors, this broad-appellation Cabernet reflects the strength of the vintage throughout the state. Best from 2001 through 2007. 4,000 cases made. —James Laube

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